short excerpts...other writings...upon occasion or as prompted...
The tiger in the water? A representation of my life -- spirit and environment!


Friday, September 10, 2010

The Power of Observation

Once my sister, Lizzie, had learned to drive, she was much more observant than my Mommy was. She belongs to that group of people that Mommy calls detail-observant, so she pays very close attention to all kinds of things that Mommy does not notice at all.

One night after work, my Mommy and Lizzie were driving home together. Well, Mommy, the grande dame of detail-obliviousness, was doing the driving, and clearly, it was Lizzie, the detail-observant, who was doing the watching. That is pretty typical of how they usually drive together.

At the light where Mommy had to make a turn to get onto the highway coming to our town — Lizzie and Echo worked in the next town over — there was a long line of cars. That was no surprise. There often was a long line at this particular light, especially right after work, so Mommy was sort of expecting a line, anyway.

Mommy could see all the way to the intersection, and the light there was red. So, she got into line behind the cars. She waited and waited.

The light turned green, but the cars in front of her did not move. After work, Mommy is sometimes patient. So, she waited through another change of lights, while talking to my sister.

Again, the line did not move. Mommy continued to talk to Echo and just waited.

"What are you doing?" Lizzie asked her.

"I am waiting for the line to move," Mommy explained.

"But, Mom," Lizzie said, looking out her window and figuring out what was going on, "all these cars are parked. You're sitting at the end of a row of parking spaces along the street."

Oops! Those little details fool Mommy every time!

Conclusion: If you want to make it home, don't line up behind a row of parked cars.

This story is excerpted from a collection of vignettes that I helped Doah, my severely mentally challenged youngest son, to write and publish several years ago (copyright 2003). It was my attempt to help him understand literacy and the purpose of writing and reading. Considering all that has befallen Doah recently, I thought it might be time for another of his stories.


  1. That is so funny Elizabeth! The fact that you are so intelligent just makes it more humorous!

  2. I think it had a lot to do with fatigue at the end of a long day. The mind, at times, just stops functioning!

  3. Hi Elizabeth .. I hope things are improving for you .. it must still be very challenging .. perhaps more so as the exhaustion of the whole overwhelming event sets in ..

    It's a fun story .. but for a sad reason ..

    Thinking of you all .. Hilary

  4. Hi Hilary, we are bit by bit returning to normal. There are still many loose ends, but I think the emotional pieces are in better order now. We saw a very nice group home for Doah today, much better than he has ever been in before, and it is only 15 minutes from our house and in the same housing development where his brother, Shane, lives. This will ultimately make some aspects of our lives much easier, and Doah will have more frequent interaction with us. We are still trying to get his roommate moved since the poor guy is still in the same room where the sad events took place and is uncomfortable with that.

  5. Elizabeth:
    This is a very cute story. Still praying for you and your family.


About Me

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I am the mother of 4 birth children (plus 3 others who lived with us) and grandmother of 2, all of them exceptional children. Married for 42 years, I grew up in Maine, live in California, and work in many places in education, linguistics, and program management. In my spare time, I rescue and tame feral cats and have the scars to prove it. A long-time ignorantly blissful atheist converted by a theophanic experience to Catholicism, I am now a joyful catechist. Oh, I also authored a dozen books, two under my pen name of Mahlou (Blest Atheist and A Believer-in-Waiting's First Encounters with God).

My Other Blogs

100th Lamb. This is my main blog, the one I keep most updated.

The Clan of Mahlou
. This is background information about various members of the extended Mahlou family. It is very much a work still in progress. Soon I will begin posting excerpts from a new book I am writing, Raising God's Rainbow Makers.

Modern Mysticism. This blog discusses the mystical in our pragmatic, practical, realistic, and rational 21st century world and is to those who spend some or much of their time in an irrational/mystical relationship with God. If such things do not strain your credulity, you are welcome to follow the blog and participate in it.

Recommended Reading List

Because I am blog inept, I don't quite know how to get a reading list to stay at the end of the page and not disappear from sight. Therefore, I entered it as my first post. I suppose that is not all that bad because readers started commenting about the books, even suggesting additional readings. So, you can participate with others in my reading list by clicking here.
I do post additional books as I read them and find them to be meaningful to me, and therefore, hopefully, meaningful to you. One advantage of all the plane traveling I do is that I acquire reading time that I might not otherwise take.